Socialist Worker

Woman refugee in ‘extreme poverty’ found dead next to baby in Glasgow

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2719

Mercy Baguma

Mercy Baguma (Pic: Go Fund Me)


A woman seeking asylum in Britain and living in extreme poverty has been found dead beside her malnourished baby in a Glasgow flat.

Mercy Baguma, from Uganda, was found dead last Saturday in the Govan area of the city. The baby boy was rushed to hospital for treatment but was released after two days.

Mercy, aged 34, was a victim of a brutal welfare system and of a racist immigration regime. She was an asylum seeker who lost her job after her official leave to remain expired.

This meant Mercy was no longer allowed to work and she and her son had to rely on food from friends and charities.

Hungry

Robina Qureshi, director of the charity Positive Action in Housing said, “Why are mothers and babies being left to go hungry in this city, why is it being left to charities and volunteers to pick up the pieces?

"Does society have anything to say about that other than call them a drain on society?

"The fact is there is no safety net if you're a refugee or migrant. You are left destitute and without resources.

"Would this mother be alive if she was not forced out of her job by this cruel system that stops you from working and paying your way because a piece of paper says your leave to remain has expired?

Lawyer and anti-racist activist Aamer Anwar said, “Mercy Baguma was left destitute by a barbaric racist immigration system. She had a right to life, yet was left with no hope. How said it is that while we say Black Lives Matter we do not scream out in pain for those like Mercy or her baby now without a mother.”

Mercy died because of a system that also killed Abdulfatah Hamdallah last week when he drowned in the English Channel.

The politicians and the media who scapegoat refugees and urge on the dismantling of the welfare system are to blame for these deaths.


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